Healthcare facilities across the globe rely on Convergint Technologies to substantially improve the quality and timeliness of patient care and to ensure that care is delivered in a safe and cost-effective manner. By providing effective integration of systems, Convergint is pivotal to healthcare organizations who are diligently working towards achieving meaningful improvements.

One of Convergint’s premium healthcare partners is Avigilon. Avigilon provides a welcoming and safe environment for patients, staff, and visitors while protecting assets of technology and equipment. Avigilon has worked with a diverse group of clients including hospitals, outpatient centers, specialized clinics, and long-term assisted living facilities.

Subject matter expert Ryan LaFleur, Avigilon’s Business Development Director for healthcare, discusses security solutions and trends for healthcare facilities.

Tell us about your professional background.

I have been specializing in the healthcare industry for over 18 years, serving as the Safety and Security Director at hospitals in New York and Connecticut. During my time at these hospitals, I’ve also served as the Director of Emergency Management and oversaw The Joint Commission’s Environment of Care.  I am currently the Business Development Director of Healthcare at Avigilon and volunteer leader and Membership Council Chair for the International Association of Healthcare Security and Safety (IAHSS). Prior to IAHSS, I served as the Chapter Chair and Regional Chair for New England and New York.

What do you think are some of the most common security problems and related solutions in the healthcare vertical?

A common concern for hospitals is patient elopement, which is when a patient leaves a floor without being properly discharged. Many of these patients are a risk to themselves and/or others. In this scenario, hospital security staff will search the hospital in an effort to find and escort the patient back to their floor. However, in some cases, a patient will leave the hospital before they can be found.

To enhance patient safety and decrease the time it takes to find a patient, we recommend deploying our Avigilon Control Center™ (ACC) video management software with Avigilon Appearance Search™ technology. Appearance Search technology is a sophisticated deep learning artificial intelligence search engine that sorts through hours of footage with ease, allowing users to quickly locate a specific person of interest across an entire site. It can help locate a missing patient by intelligently analyzing and grouping video data to track a person’s route, identify their previous and last-known locations to save hospitals time and effort, and, more importantly, render them safe.

How would you describe a typical healthcare facility solution set up?

In the past, surveillance was primarily conducted using analog cameras. As such, Avigilon offers the Avigilon analog video encoder to enable users to cost-effectively migrate their legacy analog system to a network-based IP-system. To scale hospitals to HD cameras on a budget, Avigilon video solutions are built on an open platform and are ONVIF®-compliant for easy integration with third party hardware devices. This means that the majority of existing digital cameras at a healthcare facility will work with the Avigilon system. Avigilon also offers the ACC Edge Solution Analytics Appliance to allow healthcare facilities to cost-effectively add self-learning video analytics to their existing nonanalytic IP cameras.

Hospitals are also selecting Avigilon for their access control needs. Our Access Control Manager™ (ACM) system integrates with open-field hardware. Moreover, ACC software allows the system to use ACM-generated door events to create rule-based actions and notifications for quick onsite responses and continued improvements in the hospital’s operational efficiencies. In the event of an emergency or evacuation, ACM Verify™ Browser can also be used to establish remote mustering points and track and verify personnel as they check in.

What size healthcare facilities can benefit from these solutions?

Avigilon offers scalable solutions with cost-effective security options. Avigilon solutions are currently deployed in a variety of healthcare facilities, including hospitals ranging from 100 to over 1,000 beds, as well as many long-term care facilities.

What benefits do you think a healthcare facility receives when partnering with Avigilon and Convergint on security?

Convergint and Avigilon partner seamlessly on enterprise-level solutions, especially with hospitals that have locations in multiple states. They are currently set up with local offices that cover multi-state facilities, where video footage can be streamed to a central corporate location or selectively viewed by a specific hospital. Moreover, Avigilon provides a world-class enterprise solution that supports an unlimited number of cameras and servers, while Convergint provides trained security experts and many value-add services such as site survey and evaluations, system designs, turnkey installation, technical service, maintenance, and support.

How important is cyber security in the healthcare vertical, and what steps does Avigilon take to address cyber concerns?

Avigilon is constantly working to build protection into our complete security solutions. We have integrated a number of protections into various components of our cameras, encoders and ACC ES recorders to help minimize the risk of potential cyber threats to our customers. For instance, we consistently provide software and firmware updates that add new features and enhancements to help protect the integrity, availability, and confidentiality of a system.

Can solutions from Avigilon help with The Joint Commission?

Yes, our complete security solutions can assist hospitals in complying with The Joint Commission by providing hospitals with a discreet and powerful camera solution for their operating rooms. These cameras can be used to verify that a “time out” is being conducted for each case.

Can Avigilon be used for anything beyond security in a healthcare setting? Any examples of how you can help to improve efficiency or operations?

Avigilon provides complete security solutions for a range of industries, including healthcare. Our access control solutions, combined with exceptional HD image quality, can be used to enhance patient and staff safety, as well as protect valuable technology and equipment from theft or vandalism. Avigilon’s HD network video management software can also be used to improve operational efficiencies. For instance, it can be deployed in operating rooms to monitor and verify staff time-outs. The scheduling desk staff can then view this footage to determine when a case is nearing completion and inform the next surgeon when he or she can proceed with their case.

Additionally, ACM with ACM Verify Browser can be used to establish mustering points and track personnel remotely during an emergency. With ACM Verify, authorized ACM operators can connect any web browser-enabled device to ACM, and use the device as a virtual station or mustering location. These stations can be used to control access to places that do not have access-controlled doors. They can also be used to quickly verify attendance using a PIN code or to compare an individual with their saved database image prior to check-in. As individuals check-in, an identity list is viewable from ACM Verify and by any operator viewing the interactive map from the mustering feature.

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